There’s a lot of confusion about this one, because you can “do” all the work and not lead, and you can effectively “lead” something without doing all the work.
So sometimes someone is asked to “lead” a project and what they hear is “please do all the work.” And sometimes the fact that someone is asked to “do all the work” is confused with a leadership opportunity – it is a step towards leading, but it’s not the same thing.
“Leading” means: I’m ultimately accountable for the success of this thing. If I’m successful at leading, it will be done better and faster than expected and all the people doing it will feel great about what they accomplished together. They may not even notice that I “led” anything – in fact it could be a great sign if they didn’t.
The most interesting, underappreciated opportunities are leadership opportunities when you’re not in charge. It’s important because it’s the top-LEFT quadrant in this 2×2 (lead but not doing) that has the most leverage, not the top right (leading and doing).
The upper right has you working as hard as is humanly possible and feeling in control, but there’s a limit to how much this quadrant scales.